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Logie Parish Church
(also known as Logie Airthrey, Logie Atheron, Logie Wallach, and now generally known as Blairlogie)
Dedication: unknown/St Serf(1)
Diocese of Dunblane
County of Stirlingshire
NS 8152 9697
The present remains consist of the west wall and the western part of the south wall of a structure in which most of the identifiable features date from the later seventeenth century.
The church of Logie may have been included in the grant of the lands of ‘Athernin’ or Airthrey to the nuns of North Berwick by Earl Duncan II (d.1178).(2) Possession of the church was confirmed to the nunnery by Simon, bishop of Dunblane (1179-c.1195), appropriated to the uses of the nuns by Abraham, bishop of Dunblane (1210 x 1214-1233x), and in c.1228 by Malcolm, earl of Fife.(3) A vicarage perpetual appears to have served the cure after Bishop Abraham’s charter came into force, a position recorded in Bagimond’s Roll.(4) The vicarage perpetual was still established in 1378 but by 1417 the incumbent was referred to in a papal letter as only a vicar pensionary.(5) If this reference is correct, it seems to indicate that the vicarage had been erected into a canonry and prebend of Dunblane before 1417 rather than 1430 as has been suggested.(6) The prebend was subject to protracted litigation at the papal curia between rival claimants in the 1440s,(7) and there is no further evidence for the existence of the vicarage pensionary. A parish clerkship was recorded in May 1532, when the king presented Robert More, described as a scholar, to the office on the death of the incumbent, William Sym.(8) The parsonage remained attached to the priory of North Berwick at the Reformation and the vicarage as a canonry and prebend of Dunblane.(9)
The present parish church is a building of 1805 which was designed by William Stirling the elder, and which was extended and partly remodelled by McLuckie and Walker in 1900.
The old parish church is about one third of a kilometre to the north-west of the building that replaced it. It stands within a churchyard where almost one hundred memorials predating 1707 were identified by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland in its inventory of 1963. These included a hogback stone thought to be of eleventh-century type, which is towards the east end of the churchyard, and also the fragments of another hogback. As now seen the remains of the old church, consisting of the west gable wall and the western part of the south wall, appears to be essentially the work of the mason Tobias Bachop of Alloa, who signed a contract to reconstruct the church in 1686 ‘conforme to ane draught be the said Tobias himself’.
In its final late seventeenth-century form the church had a rectangular main body, with a north lateral aisle. R.M. Fergusson’s Parish History gives the internal measurements as about 56 by 21 feet (17.07 by 6.4 metres), with the north aisle being about 19 feet (5.79 metres) square. Since the length of the surviving section of south wall is about 10.5 metres, and the west wall is 0.92 metres thick, it is clear that little more than half the length of the south wall survives. Its surviving features, listed from west to east are: an elevated rectangular doorway to a west loft; a partly reconstructed low rectangular window which presumably lit the area under the west loft; a rectangular doorway, directly above which is a round-headed Y-traceried window; and a full-height round-headed Y-traceried window with a transom at mid-height. This latter window is likely to have been a central feature, suggesting that there would have been an arrangement of openings to its east reflecting that to the west. All of the surviving openings along this wall have raised margins. At the south-west angle is a sundial dated 1687(?), while the small window between the two doorways has a re-set sill that is said to have been dated 1594 and that was apparently found in 1874. In the west gable wall is a rectangular door with an external rebate, and there is a round-headed Y-taceried window above it within the gable. At the apex of the west gable is a birdcage bellcote, and there is a volute skewputt at the southern base of the gable. Much of the west face is now obscured by modern memorials with cantilevered sheltering roofs above them. There is a modern retaining wall revetting the higher ground on the north side of the church, evidently on the line of the north wall of the church, and there is a modern cross wall at the eastern end of its surviving part.
Despite the absence of medieval features, the long history of use of the present churchyard, and the approximate orientation of the building (the slight deviation is readily attributable to the topography of the site) suggest it is highly likely that the existing building is on the footprint of the medieval church, and may incorporate part of its fabric.
1. Cockburn, Medieval Bishops of Dunblane, 9.
2. North Berwick Charters, no 4.
3. North Berwick Charters, nos 5, 7, 11.
4. SHS Misc, vi, 54.
5. CPL, Clement VII, 3; CPL, Benedict XIII, 350-351.
6. Cowan, Parishes, 136.
7. CSSR, iv, nos 692, 1201, 1207.
8. RSS, ii, no 1222.
9. Cowan, Parishes, 136; Kirk (ed.), Book of Assumptions, 148, 166, 168, 313.
Calendar of Papal letters to Scotland of Clement VII of Avignon, 1976, ed. C. Burns, (Scottish History Society) Edinburgh, 3.
Calendar of Papal letters to Scotland of Benedict XIII of Avignon, 1976, ed. F. McGurk, (Scottish History Society) Edinburgh, 350-51.
Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome 1433-47, 1983, ed. A.I. Dunlop and D MacLauchlan, Glasgow, nos 692,1201, 1207.
Carte monialium de Northberic, 1847, ed. C. Innes, (Bannatyne Club), Edinburgh, nos 4, 5, 7, 11.
Cockburn, J.H., 1959, The Mediaeval Bishops of Dunblane and their Church, Edinburgh, 9.
Cowan, I.B., 1967, The parishes of medieval Scotland, (Scottish Record Society), Edinburgh, 136.
Dunlop, A.I., 1939, ‘Bagimond’s Roll, statement of the tenths of the kingdom of Scotland’ Miscellany of the Scottish History Society, vi, 1-77, at 54.
Fergusson, R.M., 1905, Logie, a parish history, Paisley.
Kirk, J., 1995, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, (British Academy) Oxford, 148, 166, 168, 313.
Laing, J.T., 1975, ‘Hogback monuments in Scotland, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, cv, 228.
New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1845, Edinburgh and London, viii, 231-2.
Registrum Secreti Sigilli Regum Scotorum, 1908-82, ed. J.M. Thomson et al., Edinburgh, ii, no 1222.
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Canmore database.
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, 1963, Inventory of Stirlingshire, Edinburgh, 118-20.